From 1999-2003 every Friday night a group of us from Eugene Bible College would go to the downtown area of Eugene to pray and evangelize as teams throughout the area. We were young and on fire for God, and we honestly didn't always have a plan each week for street ministry, but we relied on God. We would always pray as a group before we went to minister and God would give us visions, impressions and prophetic insights as we asked Him to open doors of opportunity to share the gospel.
One time during prayer, I had a picture from God about a deathshead. The deathshead is a very specific symbol, with the crossbones behind the skull, which is not as common as the Jolly Roger that has crossbones below the skull. I shared this vision to our group of faithful student evangelists known as "harvesters," describing it to them as they took notes. One fellow college student asked, "Where will it be?"
I had no answer besides, "If you see it, minister to the person and share God's love with them."
Later that evening after giving out pizza slices to the numerous homeless teens and young adults known as "Mall rats," a fellow team member came up to me and said, "We found it." Wendy Keller went on to explain that the moment they saw the deathshead on a young man's shirt, they knew this was fulfillment of the vision given during the prayer time.
She went on to explain the story telling us that the young man was homeless by choice, but he had a Christian upbringing. They told him how God spoke to our group and showed him how one of them drew the deathshead in response to the vision just hours before which he was wearing. The young man didn't doubt what was taking place and confessed that he knew God had spoken to us, and he began telling them about his life and spiritual background. His name was Matthias, which his parents intentionally named him from the Book of Acts. The evangelistic team members who met him spoke destiny and hope into his life, having an opportunity to pray with him and minister to his needs. They had several other interactions with him through the weeks before he moved on from Eugene.
None of us had a vocabulary or term for what we were doing but just knew that we read about this form of ministry in the Bible. Some of us later learned it was "power evangelism," discussed at length by John Wimber in the 1980s, and we grew more in this as we participated with our ministries in a healing revival in Albany, Oregon at the Vineyard Church that trained us more specifically in power evangelism and the anointing.
Power evangelism should be normal and natural to each of us as we share God's love to all people. Power evangelism is one of the most effective means of outreach to a world hungering for spiritual answers. If we have the Holy Spirit in our lives we can minister in God's power, knowing that it is scriptural.
Jesus ministered in God's power. The Gospel of Mark says that Jesus went around Galilee after his water baptism, "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:14b-15). Jesus cast demons out of the oppressed and went about teaching in the synagogues, "proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people," (Matt. 4:23).
The apostles ministered in God's power. When the Apostle Peter was supernaturally sent to the house of Cornelius, he reminded them of Jesus, saying in Acts 10:38, "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." And then while the house of Cornelius was hearing the gospel the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them and they were incredibly filled with the Spirit, "speaking in other tongues and magnifying God" (Acts 10:46).
We can minister in God's power. When Jesus gave the command known as the Great Commission He set in place a successorship plan for ministering in His power which we carry on to this day. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus said, "'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age'' Amen." In Acts 1:8 He told His disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit falls upon them and they will be witnesses to the ends of the earth, but this promise for power is for all who call on His name as Acts 2:38-39 says, "Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call."
You can start ministering in power today by being humble and available before God, asking Him to use you to show His love to people in your workplace, and through your life as you serve others. As you go through your day, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and then speak life and destiny naturally to your friends, family and co-workers and begin to see the miraculous take place for God's glory.
Jared Laskey is starting Destiny Open Bible Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is a contributing writer to Charisma Magazine Online. He lives to see Jesus awaken this generation to the power of His Holy Spirit. You can follow him on Twitter @jaredalaskey. For more information check out www.firebornministries.org